President Hemphill's Fiscal Year 2018 budget reduction message

Dear Radford Family,

As I shared with you in my initial communication and subsequent conversations since becoming your president on July 1, 2016, I am deeply committed to excellence, accountability, transparency and student-centeredness in all that we do at Radford University. In that spirit and as your president, I want to share with you that I, along with all Virginia public college and university presidents, received notification from the Governor's Office earlier today to begin planning for a 7.5 percent reduction for fiscal year 2018.

Although concerning and unfortunate, this announcement is not entirely unexpected as the Commonwealth of Virginia has been publicly discussing the budgetary challenges faced by the state. Such discussion began in the summer months and has continued as revenue projections have not kept pace with budgets. While the Commonwealth excluded higher education from across-the-board reductions faced by other executive branch agencies in FY 2017, it may not be able to do so for FY 2018 given current budgetary projections and today's announcement by the Governor's Office. Therefore, it is anticipated that the reduction will impact the University's general fund appropriation after adjusting for student financial aid, which is exempt from the FY 2018 reduction.

The Commonwealth's fiscal challenges were outlined in detail during Radford University's inaugural Budget Planning Summit, which included student, faculty, and staff representatives from across the campus. Many of your ideas and inputs, which were shared during the daylong summit, will be critically important as we develop plans to facilitate this reduction for the upcoming fiscal year. Such plans will be developed by Vice President for Finance and Administration Richard Alvarez, who will work in close consultation with leadership teams of various business units across campus, in order to meet the governor's guidelines.

Despite this most recent announcement by the Governor's Office, I, along with the Board of Visitors, the Cabinet, and the Leadership Council, remain sharply focused on ensuring the quality of the educational experience provided to our students. This budgetary development will not deter our strategic focus on excellence, nor will it deter our vision to transform Radford into an innovative, premier university within the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond, with a focus on teaching, research and service.

By working together, I am confident that the Radford family will weather this difficult budgetary challenge, and we will continue to meet our mission of providing a world-class living and learning environment for current and future generations of Highlanders!

With Highlander Pride,

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.

Nov 1, 2016